Town Clerk Kristy Rogers is Milton’s new town manager, after years of doing the job without the official title.
Rogers, 33, joined town staff in 2011 as a general accounting clerk. The Georgetown resident was promoted to town clerk in 2013, and also given the authority to execute town manager duties when former Town Manager Win Abbott resigned.
That’s the last time Milton had a town manager.
Since then, town officials have discussed the need for a town manager, but it wasn’t until Mayor Ted Kanakos and council members in summer 2016 approved the use of $25,000 from the town’s reserves to hire The Novak Consulting Group, an Ohio-based search firm, to find the perfect candidate.
“We’ve had three other town managers that haven’t worked out … and we didn’t want that to happen again,” Kanakos said. “What we wanted to do is be sure, and of the 50 people, [Rogers] was the best. It confirmed our suspicion that she was good.”
Kanakos said Novak began the hiring selection with 50 applicants.
“It was a long process,” Kanakos said, noting that it has taken about eight months to get to the final hiring decision. “When we look at other towns, out of the 25 municipalities in Sussex County, only two don’t have a town manager. The town manager is the accepted title and position to run a town.”
Kanakos said there was a lot of division among council as the selection process dwindled down to the final few candidates, but he is pleased with the decision to hire Rogers.
“It’s a long time coming, and this was not a frivolous choice,” he said. “I think that by Kristy becoming a town manager, it proves that over the last 3 to 4 years she’s grown into helping us make this a better town. She has earned this position, and this is important.”
Kanakos said Rogers’ new title, which comes with an $80,000 salary and a 3-year contract, is effective immediately. The contract also allows for two, one-year renewals, he said.
Rogers was recognized by Delaware League of Local Governments in 2014 as the state’s Clerk of the Year, and she has worked closely with Milton’s dozen-plus committees and commissions, preparing the town’s annual budget, working on the comprehensive plan update, and overseeing a slew of other behind-the-scenes projects that are vital to Milton’s success and growth.
“Since joining the town almost six years ago, I’ve recognized the growth and potential of Milton,” Rogers said. “I think it’s important for a town to have a town manager to oversee the daily operations of the town and fulfill goals of mayor and council.“
Rogers, who holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Wilmington College, now Wilmington University, said her main goal will be to fulfill staffing needs and strengthen working relationships among staff and the community.
“Milton is a lovely town, full of history, attractive features, and community-oriented spirit,” she said. “The town manager is an integral role between the community and council.”